My husband and I visited the Litchfield History Museum on Sunday, April 29, 2018, the same day we visited the Tapping Reeve House and Law School, which was down the street. The Litchfield History Museum had three very nice exhibits addressing the social, cultural and political history and the evolution of Litchfield as a small New England town. It gave a nice depiction of Litchfield as a social, cultural and intellectual center. We found parking for this museum on the street in front of the museum, as well as in front of the shops and restaurants across the street from the museum. We visited the Tapping Reeve House and Law School first, which was down South Street and then the Litchfield History Museum, which was at the beginning of South Street. However, you could tour these museums in either order. Our tour of both museums took about an hour and a half in total, based on the amount of time available to us. However, we could have easily spent more time in each museum. We enjoyed both museums and we hope that you have the opportunity to enjoy them as well. They were interesting, informative and educational. Our experience was like a walk back through time. Also both museums offered free admission at the time of our visit, which was quite nice.
We started our tour of the Litchfield History Museum with the exhibit entitled, ‘To Weep with Those Who Weep: Mourning Practices in Litchfield’, which depicted the mourning practices of the 19th Century being influenced by the death of George Washington. Our nation’s loss of this leader caused an increase in memorializing the dead in Litchfield and the surrounding area, which is the basis for this exhibit. This was an interesting exhibit with all items on display nicely curated with good write-ups explaining them.
We then went to the exhibit entitled ‘By the Virtue of its Citizen’s: Educating a New Nation at Sarah Pierce’s Academy’, also known as the Litchfield Female Academy. This exhibit nicely depicted Sarah Pierce’s innovative approach to both formal and informal education, including a mixture of academics, needlework, drawing, painting and music and the connection the school had to the Tapping Reeve Law School, as a social and intellectual community. The needlework embroidery and watercolor paintings were very impressive in this exhibit. We really enjoyed this exhibit which was well curated with nice write-ups supporting the items on display.
Finally we went to the exhibit entitled, ‘Litchfield: The Making of a New England Town’, which provided a great history of Litchfield, being a patriotic stronghold and center for patriotic activity during the American Revolutionary War years. There was a section with artifacts on each section of Litchfield Village, including Bantam, Milton, Northfield and East Litchfield, all nicely done. There were also beautiful dresses, jewelry, furniture, paintings and other fine arts on display, reflecting an age of refinement in Litchfield. This was a very informative exhibit providing a good history of Litchfield, including a depiction of how Litchfield looked over 200 years ago, all nicely curated with detailed write-ups.
We liked this museum and recommend going to it.
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